A Healthy Blueprint
Architecture Alumna Builds Career as Food Blogger
Returning home from 10-hour workdays too tired to cook, Elizabeth (Vetne) Lindemann ’07, M.Arch. ’09 found herself craving a new career and lifestyle.
While she loved being a high school art teacher, she was rarely eating healthy and saw her colleagues snacking on junk food and relying on carryout for meals.
“(I) realized that cooking healthy meals made from quality ingredients at home helped me have more energy, be less stressed and save money,” she said.
The idea for “Bowl of Delicious” was born. Launched in 2013, Lindemann’s personal food blog shares simple, healthy and made-from-scratch recipes designed for people with busy schedules. In just three years, she earned enough income to leave teaching and turn blogging into a full-time job out of her home near Austin, Texas.
“It kind of started off as an experiment—like, can I make this into a business?” Lindemann said. “And it grew.”
Her interest in cooking began at UMD, when Lindemann and friends from the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation would get together and cook on Fridays following a studio class. In graduate school, she had the good fortune of a “phenomenal cook” for a housemate who inspired an interest in making homemade meals.
Today, the recipe process can start anywhere from Pinterest to leftover ingredients in the pantry, and seeing what she can tweak or create in her own kitchen.
“I actually thought that coming up with ideas for recipes would be challenging,” she said, “but it's the opposite problem.”
As the mother of two young children, Lindemann is also working on providing a new generation with a healthy appreciation of food—even though toddlers aren’t always the most adventurous eaters.
“I think having kids has definitely informed my personal eating choices more (and therefore my blog), and I feel like I've never been more aware of how many vegetables we eat,” she said. “That, and I haven't really posted anything very spicy lately.”
In addition to publishing a cookbook, Lindemann hopes to expand her business by working with teenagers again. Her first job after graduate school was as a design teacher at a New Orleans charter school focusing on architecture and engineering; she sees an opportunity to give students basic cooking techniques before they leave for college.
Although Lindemann eventually concluded that architecture was not the industry for her, she credits that education for fostering a set of creative and problem solving skills she uses every day.
“Figuring out everything—from how to do some simple HTML coding, to teaching myself food photography to search engine optimization—there are all these things that go into it,” she said. “I think the problem-solving aspect of an architecture education has translated well.”